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25 London Travel Tips to Help You Plan, Eat, Shop and Find Hidden Gems

Tower Bridge London on a implausible day!

[updated May 2019]

Every time I’m asked for London Travel Tips, I have a tendency to speak really quick, excited that people are going to the town that I’ve been enamored with for more than twenty years. They take a look at me and say “can you send those to me?” as they back away from the crazy woman.  I might in all probability record 100 London Travel Tips (or more) but off the highest of my head these 25 journey ideas come to thoughts when planning a London visit. Mother’s first go to to London & Paris was an adventure so my ideas are for first time visitors.  With the low fx price for the U.Okay., now is a superb time for you to plan a hop across the pond on your visit to London. You may even use the Icelandair stopover program for an extended weekend in Reykjavik like I did to get two holidays in one!

6 London Travel Tips for Planning

  1. Tickets to the Tower of London Keys Ceremony ebook a yr or more out and are virtually all the time bought out months prematurely! Superior planning is needed here – tickets are free, limited and the service charge is minimal.  I had a ticket final yr and the universe prevented me from attending (read all about it in my Nightmare Travel Day).
  2. Determine on your London airport transit and e-book forward if required.
    • Do you will have carry-on only luggage/luggage you could easily carry/carry up and down stairs without difficulty? Take a look at utilizing the London Underground to get monetary savings (however not time)
    • Want to journey the Heathrow Categorical or tube with out your luggage?  Send your baggage to the lodge utilizing Airportr, my favorite London luggage delivery choice.
    • Know 30-90 days prematurely you’ll be in London? Take a look at the Heathrow Categorical discounted fares for the 15 minute journey from Heathrow to Paddington practice station.  From there, determine to journey onward with the London underground (for those who can handle your luggage) or go for a London black cab.
    • Multiple individual? Select to rent a automotive pickup or use a cab.  Observe that the London Black cab can simply seat five however not your baggage so easily because it sacrifices boot (trunk) area to be more spacious seating.  You usually put the bags in sideways at your ft. Be ready to pay 70GBP+ for the trip from the airport into London in a cab or hire automotive (drive time a minimum of an hour or extra relying on arrival time/day).
  3. The English Heritage website and app is an excellent approach to discover historic England (assume castles and Downton Abbey history) throughout the town and countryside
  4. Tell your financial institution you are going abroad to make sure the ATM will work (greatest trade charges for cash). This can be a pet peeve of mine given how much I travel and but my bank has persistently shut down my access so be sure your telephone can dial internationally for those who need to clarify how one can be in two nations in at some point as a result of their pc (and many people sadly) don’t understand there’s a practice between Paris and London.  My ATM card was denied as I arrived at St. Pancras practice station so I had no money for the cab to the lodge, fortunately I used to be in a position to pay by credit card (though I apologized for doing so).
  5. Be open to new foods, neighborhood outlets and a quick tempo
  6. Free Wi-Fi is often provided on the main takeaway outlets like EAT and PRET, others might require an entry code with a purchase order (annoying but when I want to eat a chocolate croissant to use the Wi-Fi, it seems a small sacrifice).

Tower Bridge London Travel TipsTower Bridge London – certainly one of my favorite views within the city

5 London Travel Tips for Getting Round London

London Black Cab 25 London Travel TipsLondon Black Cab and Trendy Day Double Decker Purple Bus

  1. Black cabs are uniquely British and usually owned by small business house owners (the driving force) who’ve endured years upon years of coaching to take The Information.  Read the NY Occasions article to see how they study each nook and cranny in London and can navigate the maze of streets with their eyes closed.  That is my private choice and based mostly on experience, I can get right into a London black cab and give partial info and arrive safely at my vacation spot while having an fascinating dialog.  They don’t want a GPS or instructions on the place to go – it’s all in their head. They are the perfect guides to what’s common and fun to do within the metropolis. (observe: have cash out there or a bank card that’s chip/pin not the american chip/signal card)
  2. CityMapper App is awesome because it works offline to assist you plan your journey by means of London (and different cities) with reside departure occasions for transit
  3. Stand on the appropriate, move on the left on escalators in the Tube – it’s a quick tempo and you don’t need to stop the movement of people
  4. Whenever you enter a tube station be prepared together with your Oyster card (don’t have one? go to the window to purchase one – it’s a reloadable transit card good on busses and river line too! You need to have enough on the cardboard to exit at your stop which is charged by zone) so that you don’t trigger a backup in the stream of individuals.
  5. Don’t get in a cab during theatre occasions – it’s usually faster to walk so plan to eat/drink near the theatre early to keep away from the visitors jam (and expensive cab journey).

four London Travel Tips for Meals in London

Fitzrovia London FoodA lot of meals choice in London in Fitzrovia

  1. Sure, there are AMERICAN eating places however don’t spend all your time at Starbucks, Five Guys, Shake Shack or TGI Fridays because they’re familiar. Attempt British restaurant chains like Hen Shop, Byron Burger, Brandisa, Polpo or Bill’s Café for affordable prices.  The Ivy Brasserie is a little more posh (costly) but nonetheless very pretty dining choice.
  2. On the pub, if you would like to order meals and/or drink you achieve this at the bar and then find a seat. No waitress service at the pubs until they are geared for tourists.  Mushy peas are an fascinating vegetable as a aspect to fish & chips – perhaps the only approach I’ll eat my peas
  3. Sweet Tooth – You can examine my Cupcake & Chocolate tour of Soho or visit the Food Halls of Selfridge’s or Harrods’s. Fancy a complicated (expensive) ice cream sundae experience then Harrods’s Ice Cream Parlour is for you (and your youngsters).
  4. In the temper for American breakfast because the complete English breakfast with baked beans seems odd? Lacking the ridiculous American “stand in line for brunch” ritual then be prepared to queue up at The Breakfast Club in Soho or different places within the metropolis.  The membership is small however the parts are large. You gained’t depart hungry!
  5. **Bonus** Borough Market is a feast in your eyes and abdomen.  With a mix of meals stalls, cafes and restaurants, you gained’t go hungry here.  Take a look at the local vendors with Nut Butters, Breads and Cheeses.  Deliver a market bag, your appetite and plan for crowds in the course of the day.

four London Travel Tips for Leisure Enjoyable in London

Rosewood London courtyardRosewood London gated entry – once you arrive the gate is opened to the courtyard

  1. Consult Time Out London (obtain the app or discover a journal at your lodge) to see What’s On during your visit. With a plethora of selection, you’re spoiled to decide just one artwork opening, new restaurant, museum occurring, rooftop cinema or browse the highest ten lists.
  2. Music and Craft Cocktails in a complicated lodge extra your type? Go to Scarfes Bar in the Rosewood Lodge in Holborn.  With hidden nooks and couches to sink into, don’t be stunned for those who spot a star or two (but no selfies people, this isn’t that type of place as my pal came upon when she tried a stealth selfie with flash and movie star in background
  3. Walks.com – that is the unique strolling tour of London with a plethora of choices seven days every week all yr long. Really feel like strolling in Jack the Rippers London, they’ve acquired a stroll for you.  Fancy a pub crawl in Soho – yep, they’ve that. Need to watch a courtroom session – you can do that too!  I’ve taken many walks in and out of London – they’re often small groups with incredible educated guides. Cash solely!
  4. The Hoxton Lodge Occasions in Holborn and Shoreditch host reside music and different events in the very occurring lobby bar and lounge.

three London Travel Tips – Purchasing

Oxford Street Christmas LightsOxford Road adorned for Christmas

  1. M&S and Tesco are implausible supermarkets for quick food (and drink) replenish. I really like the person food choices which are nice in case you are staying in a flat like I did to prepare dinner up quite a lot of dinners each night time.
  2. Deliver your personal bag to keep away from paying for one within the markets and malls. Positive it’s solely 5 pence or so however it’s nonetheless annoying to have to pay for a bag each time.
  3. Take a photograph of your passport in the event you plan on buying and need a Tax Refund on the VAT paid on purchases. At the retailer, see when you qualify and ask for the tax refund types – at M&S you’ll be able to take all receipts to their VAT reclaim space in customer support.  They may fill out the types (that is the place you need your passport info) for you to submit if you depart the U.Okay.  In Heathrow, the reclaim workplace is just after baggage examine however BEFORE security.  There’s a payment for the service so typically it’s value it, typically not.

four London Travel Tips – Hidden Gems

Shoreditch Street Art TourLove this Jimmy C Road Art in Shoreditch London

  1. Great views and photographs of St. Paul’s Cathedral are free! Go to One New Change Mall on Cheapside (throughout the street from St. Paul’s tube station) and take the raise (elevator) to the rooftop, There you’ll get a better view of this well-known landmark within the City of London.  While there, have a drink and chill out in one of the many seating areas.
  2. Need a city escape from London? Hop on the practice to the seaside town of Brighton to stroll across the laneways (purchasing roads) or wander to the seashore to dip your toes in the ocean and stroll in the sand
  3. Viewing the Shoreditch Road Art of London which features a go to to Brick Lane and stops at the Banksy art. Study the history of graffiti, road art, yarn bombing, stickers, and so forth. and see the way it’s reworked into the fashionable area that it is now.
  4. **Bonus** SkyGarden London is a FREE viewing level above the Thames within the Walkie Talkie constructing.  You must reserve online prematurely for the free tickets.  Its a very nice various to see the town from above.

Ok, 25 London Travel Tips is a bit more than a number of (I speak quick, hence the ask to e mail those ideas!).  I might in all probability (and will) share one million more particularly with all the new ideas and sights I’m studying about with Mother’s journey. In the event you’ve been to London, do you agree, disagree or have any to add?